Comment 31463

By JonC (registered) | Posted June 02, 2009 at 14:08:44

I read a related piece related to complex decision making.

The article discusses the argument from authority fallacy and then gets into arguments between experts. "Sometimes the arguments are such that the specialists can develop and summarize them to the point that an intelligent layman can evaluate them. But often—and I feel pretty sure here—that's just not the case." This creates opportunity for the disingenuous to state opinions or falsehoods while only ensuring that the statement sounds plausible.

Then goes on to coin the "one way hash argument". The term is explained in better detail at the link, but in short, is a quick argument that requires a great amount of explaining to counter. In essence, that a short, intuitive and plausible (but wrong) argument tends to carry an undue amount of weight due to the ease of understanding (as long as the concepts are above the laypersons understanding).

The authour then ties it into the Dunning-Kruger effect, which leads to a situation where "people with less competence will rate their ability more highly than people with relatively more competence".

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